HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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(IV) therapy, injections, catheter care and monitoring vital signs and medical equipment. Skilled nursing care provided in any setting for any duration must be ordered by a doctor to be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the VA or private health insurance. These facilities usually provide a written agreement or long-term contract to the resident. There may be a one-time upfront entrance fee and a predictable monthly fee.


Memory care in some senior living communities specializes in services dedicated to caring for residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia or cognitive impairments. Memory care units offer the same services as assisted living facilities but with increased supervision and activities intended to stimulate memory, such as music, arts and crafts and games. Most memory care programs include innovative technologies and interventions that can decrease the resident’s anxieties and difficulties related to dealing with dementia.


The American Academy of Family Physicians provides an excellent resource along with some medical advice for senior living options online at https://familydoctor.org/housing-options-for-seniors/.

As we move on in years, transitions or shifts must be taken. With impending joint replacement, my wife went looking for a one-level home to eliminate stairs and accommodate the lifestyle changes we have to make.


Lifestyle changes as a result of aging require a careful look at senior living options. It’s important to realize healthy lifestyle changes do not have to be extreme to be effective. Taking small steps can make for a smooth transition when needed. Choosing a healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep, nutritious food and reasonable amounts of exercise creates good habits as you age.


Lifestyle needs vary from person to person. Along the way we have gained experience, wisdom and patience. As one comes to realize the need for some lifestyle changes, where and how we live become essential focuses.


Senior living communities offer a range of services and care, including holistic approaches to health and wellness. There are seminars and options for lifelong learning, social connections and opportunities to keep growing as a person. These options are directly related to your lifestyle and the baggage of health-related issues common to aging.


Active adult and 55-plus communities are gaining popularity.

SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITIES SHOULD COMPLEMENT YOUR LIFESTYLE

They offer various levels of care as they become needed. Active adult communities are typically restricted to people who are 55 years of age and older. These communities offer independent residential living, usually in a single-family home, townhome, condominium or multi-family properties, either for sale or rent. Some offer small apartments. A monthly fee for services and amenities is usually applied. Access to higher levels of care varies; these may not be offered at all facilities. Hospitality services and outdoor maintenance are usually included in the monthly fee, and the community could offer additional amenities such as a clubhouse and recreational activities including golf and swimming.


Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) offer several kinds of residences for independent living and various levels of health care services. Beyond independent living, these communities often provide assistance for residents who require help with activities of daily living. For individuals with special needs, skilled nursing care services are available, as well as memory care. Skilled nursing care is a high level of medical care that must be provided by licensed health professionals, such as registered nurses and physical, speech and occupational therapists. These services, which can be necessary over the short term for rehabilitation from illness or injury, include wound care, intravenous

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP



Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.